My claim to fame in cooking school wasn’t my amazing knife skills or my ability to flip the perfect omelet. No, I was an ace potato dryer. Seriously. My proudest moment in my culinary school career came, not when I graduated with honors, but when my chef instructor announced to the class that I seemed to have a “natural ability” to dry out potatoes. Apparently this is my super power — saving the world from dense mashed potatoes.
How to Make Mashed Potatoes
Drying out potatoes gets rid of any excess moisture the potatoes may have absorbed during boiling. To dry them out, drain the potatoes and return them to the pot you cooked them in. With the heat on low, stir the potatoes for 1-2 minutes. I like to mash them right in the pan. It saves time and mashing the potatoes over the heat helps any remaining moisture evaporate away quickly. Taking the time to dry the potatoes will give your mashed potatoes a light, fluffy texture.
Tips for Making Great Mashed Potatoes:
1. Choose the Right Potatoes: Mealy potatoes are best for mashed potatoes. They have lots of starch, which you need for texture, and not a lot of moisture. Russets and purple potatoes are great choices.
2. Spice It Up: Add additional spices or herbs to the cream for additional flavor.
Seasoning to Taste (This is especially important because unseasoned, or underseasoned, potatoes taste like air.)